Sometimes the simplest remedies—the ones that have worked for centuries—are the best. The ancient practice of “taking the waters,” what we now call hydrotherapy, works on two levels: The warm water provides a continuous heat source to our bodies, and gently massages as it circulates. And the addition of therapeutic salts, minerals and botanical oils assist in helping soak ailments away. Take advantage of the benefits of hydrotherapy with a few of our favorite add-ins.
Repair sore muscles
Weekend warriors (or really any of us who overwork our muscles) can appreciate the soothing properties of a warm soak. To release knots and ease sore muscles, try Kneipp’s Joint & Muscle Arnica Mineral Bath Salt, filled with thermal salts from a renowned underground sea in Germany, as well as arnica, pine and eucalyptus—essential oils known to reduce pain and inflammation. Another easy fix relies on Epsom salts: Add a cup or two of this magnesium-rich salt to bathwater for an easy do-it-yourself spa treatment for achiness.
Stuffy noses and clogged sinuses open up with eucalyptus oil and steam in a hot bath (or lukewarm if you have a fever). Pharmaca’s Bath Salts in Eucalyptus use eucalyptus essential oil, known for its anti-inflammatory and decongesting properties, and cineole, a component of eucalyptus oil, to reduce mucus production and loosen phlegm. For kids, try Alaffia’s Babies and Up Everyday Shea Butter Bubble Bath in Eucalyptus Mint for a soothing bubbly soak with eucalyptus and spearmint.
Revive your spirit
When exhaustion and stress overwhelm you, Boulder-based Esthetician Camille Capone recommends Little Moon’s Tired Old Ass Bath. Nerve-nourishing essential oils like rosemary, vetiver and eucalyptus, plus salts high in trace minerals and iron, rebalance your body and spirit. And if the name makes you laugh, that’s good, too!
Relax your mind
Lavender is one of the go-to essential oils that health practitioners use to induce calm, reduce anxiety and promote a sense of wellbeing. Ahava’s Lavender Bath Salt is Camille’s recommendation, as its highly mineralized Dead Sea salts smooth skin and natural lavender soothes the brain. To calm your mind before bedtime, or if you have trouble falling asleep, try Kneipp’s Deep Sleep Herbal Bath with Valerian and Hops, an aromatherapy treat that promotes drowsiness.
Re-moisturize your skin
Dry, flaky and rough skin gets a good dose of silky nourishment from the sweet almond oil found in Kneipp’s Good Health Almond Blossom Soft Skin Herbal Bath. And for a skin-hydrating botanical treatment, Camille recommends Dr. Hauschka’s Rose Nurturing Bath Essence, filled with pure rose extract and a blend of sweet almond, jojoba and avocado oils. The oils turn into a milky moisturizing bath and rose balances sensitive skin.
Ask a Pharmaca practitioner for recommendations about transforming your next bath into a healing, restorative experience.